How The Digestive System process works and the process your food goes through.
“Health is wealth,” as people like to say, and the best way to keep and improve your health is to truly understand how our body works. The digestive system is a gate to our organism which we can control to improve our health as at the end we all decide for ourselves what we will eat and drink.
However, before we learn what food and beverages are healthy for us, we should first get familiar with the playground – the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Once we understand the structure and the function of our digestive system, it will be easy to decide whether you should have a TV snack or an apple when food cravings start at those late, lonely nights.
The Process Of Digestion In The Body
Well, we all like to eat, there is no question about that, but do you know what important stuff we get from food besides calories that stack up into our bellies? Food is not needed only to get our bodies going, to provide us with energy. Food also gives us structural molecules that incorporate in our bodies, in our organs, tissues, cells and allow them to function correctly. From food, we get enzymes needed for chemical interactions in our bodies, and we get amino acids to build or muscles strong and big. Practically speaking, food is necessary for everything that is happening in our bodies, and we might say that we are what we eat.
Food enters our bodies through the mouth, and that is where the process of digestion starts. The process of digestion is both chemical and mechanical. Teeth begin to break the food, and tongue pushes it back into the esophagus, salivary glands provide enzymes to break the molecules in the food so they can be absorbed later on in the GI tract. The esophagus is like a muscular tunnel that allows food to get to stomach, then it will go to intestines, and at the end, some of it will get out of our bodies. It is a very long road that food passes through our bodies. Did you know that intestines were 23 feet long? So on this long road, everything has to work perfectly so GI tract can absorb nutrients properly. For example, if you gastric juice starts going back into the esophagus when your esophageal sphincter is not working correctly, in which it shouldn’t, you might develop a condition called GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). This condition and many others tend to develop when we are not eating properly, like when we are overeating or having meals in inappropriate time, and when our bodies are not ready to digest food.
However, how we can tell if something is wrong and what to do about it? There are many symptoms that are easy to recognize, and that suggest us to change our eating habits or even see a doctor. Some signs that your digestive system is not working as it should are bloating, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
How The Digestive System Process Works And The Process Your Food Goes Through
So we already got some insight into digestive system functions and how important it is, but, what are the major organs that hold everything it the place. We all already know about the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and intestines that all work together to provide us with nutrients we badly need. Some other parts of our body are as important as major digestive organs and have a significant role in its digestive function.
Did you know how vital the abdominal wall for digestion is? It supports all major digestive organs and keeps them in place so they can function properly. If the abdominal wall is weak, you might develop abdominal herniation, and food will not be able to pass through your body.
Teeth are essential as they break the food and allow gastric juice to get to every molecule and digest it. Salivary glands provide enzymes that break starch into simple sugars and glucose, and that is the only form in which they can be absorbed into our bodies.
There are other enzymes produced by pancreas and intestines that help in the digestion and absorption of proteins and lipids. All digestive organs are also muscular in its structure, and they push food all the way down.
Moreover, don’t forget about little tenants in our intestines – bacteria, or the resident flora of our intestines. Yes, there are bacteria living in our guts but don’t be afraid, they are not there to harm you. Actually, they live with us in symbiosis and help us digest many foods and provide us with some essential nutrients like vitamin K. This is why when your doctor prescribes you antibiotics that can have a terrible impact on bacterial flora in your guts, he also prescribes you a probiotics to prevent extermination of our GI little helpers.
After food runs through our gut, all which is left of it is waste products that leave our bodies in the form of feces. As funny as it sounds, a healthy-looking feces is the best sign that your digestive system is working fine and that you are eating as you should. First signs of malnutrition will show in your stool.
So, now when we know how our digestive system works and what functions it has, we are ready to explore the world of health through eating correctly. You might think to yourselves: “But, there is too much information, where do I start?” Well, we all drink coffee, that hot cup is something we all rely on to keep us awake when we need those extra hours of work. So, start with a coffee, is it good for your health or not? Start with foods and beverages that you consume the most, that way you will have the fastest and greatest impact on your health. For homework, make a list of five foods you eat all the time and find out if they are good for you. I hope I set you up on a journey to health and I wish you have fun on it.